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Headword: Tribônianos
Adler number: tau,956
Translated headword: Tribonian, Tribonianus, Tribonianos
Vetting Status: high
[Son] of Macedonianus, [descended?] from advocates of the prefects.[1]
This Tribonian was a Greek and an atheist, disinclined toward the faith of the Christians in all respects; he was also a flatterer and a rogue, persuading Justinian the emperor that he would not die, but that he would be taken up into the heavens with [his] body.[2] And he was Justinian’s quaestor.
This man enjoyed natural strength and had arrived at the pinnacle of education less than that of no one at his time: and he, bizarrely enthusiastic in his love of money, was always able to sell justice for profit. Concerning laws, on each day, as far as was in his power, he used to annul some and write others, selling one or the other to those who asked according to their desire.[3] But having survived for many years in this post, he died from disease, having suffered nothing disagreeable from anyone. For he was both wily and especially likable and he was most capable of overshadowing the disease of avarice by the abundance of his education.[4]
Greek Original:
Tribônianos, Makedonianou, apo dikêgorôn tôn huparchôn. houtos ho Tribônianos Hellên hupêrche kai atheos, allotrios kata panta tês tôn Christianôn pisteôs: kolax de kai apateôn kai peithôn Ioustinianon ton basilea, hôs hoti ouk apothaneitai, all' eis tous ouranous meta sarkos analêphthêsetai. ên de koïaistôr Ioustinianou. houtos phuseôs men dunamei echrêto kai paideias es akron aphiketo tôn kat' hauton oudenos hêsson: es de philochrêmatian daimoniôs espoudakôs hoios te ên kerdous aei to dikaion apodidosthai, tôn te nomôn hêmerai hoi ek tou epipleiston hekastêi tous men anêirei, tous de egraphen, apempolôn tois deomenois kata tên chreian hekateron. etê de polla epibious têi timêi eteleutêse nosôi, ouden achari pros oudenos pathôn. ên gar haimulos te kai talla hêdus kai tês philochrêmatias to nosêma episkiasai hikanôtatos tês paideias periousiai.
*tribwniano/s (Tribonianus/Tribonian) is also written *tribouniano/s; see tau 951. The same Tribonian is also the subject of tau 957 and is mentioned in alpha 112; cf. PLRE IIIb s.v. Tribonianus(1).
[1] This phrase, also used of Tribonian in tau 957 and of Sergius of Zeugma in sigma 246, may refer to rank rather than descent. The term u(/parxos (translated here as 'prefect') can be used of prefects, proconsuls and provincial legates, and in the late Roman empire "Expraefect" (a)po\ u(pa/rxwn) existed as an honorary rank.
[2] A paraphrase of Hesychius of Miletus (fr. 7 Müller), whose source in turn seems to be Procopius, Secret History 13.11-12 (web address 1); cf. Kaldellis (Secret History, 62).
[3] = Procopius, History of the Wars of Justinian 1.24.16 (though the Suda begins this section with ou(=tos instead of Tribouniano\s de\; see web address 2); cf. Kaldellis (Wars of Justinian, 62).
[4] = Procopius, History of the Wars of Justinian 1.25.2 (though Procopius has a)/llo before ou)de\n, producing the meaning "...suffered nothing else disagreeable"; see web address 3); cf. Kaldellis (Wars of Justinian, 68).
J.R. Martindale, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, vol. IIIb, (Cambridge, 1992)
A. Kaldellis, ed. and trans., Prokopios: The Secret History, (Indianapolis 2010)
A. Kaldellis, ed. and H.B. Dewing, trans., Prokopios: The Wars of Justinian, (Indianapolis 2014)
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: biography; Christianity; definition; economics; ethics; historiography; history; law; medicine; politics; religion
Translated by: John Mulhall on 16 October 2011@11:14:38.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (tweaked hw, modified translation and notes, cosmetics, added keywords) on 17 October 2011@09:14:32.
David Whitehead (expanded n.2; another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 17 October 2011@10:09:17.
David Whitehead on 15 January 2014@05:48:13.
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmetics) on 28 November 2014@14:32:27.
Ronald Allen (beta code tweak primary note) on 9 April 2024@11:08:27.
Ronald Allen (typo n.1; added bibliography and link n.2) on 10 April 2024@11:56:33.
Ronald Allen (further bibliography and links) on 11 April 2024@10:52:33.


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